A US District Court in Seattle awarded $21.5 million in damages to a man from Illinois who suffered injuries from a faulty door on a Holland America cruise ship. The man received a minor brain injury after a sliding glass door closed on his head. The sum was awarded by a unanimous decision by a jury after a nine day trial. If you were injured or lost a loved one aboard a cruise ship, consider contacting a Miami Cruise Ship Accident Attorney.
The attorneys for the injured man were able to provide evidence to the court that other passengers had been similarly injured by sliding glass doors in multiple Holland America cruise ships. Faulty sensor settings on the door allegedly are what contributed to these accidents.
The Illinois man was traveling with his family on a 280-day world cruise aboard Holland America’s Pacific fleet flagship, the M/S Amsterdam. The ship was in open water, approaching Hawaii, when the man followed cruise ship employees through the sliding glass door, which automatically closed when the man was half way through, striking him in the side of the head and face. Holland America argued in court that the man had walked into the closing doors and that the doors did not close on him. The closing doors gave the man a facial contusion, concussion and chipped tooth. Despite his injuries the man was still able to finish the entire cruise journey.
The verdict, one of the largest in recent cruise ship litigation history, included $16.5 million in punitive damages against the cruise line. The remaining $5 million was awarded for the past and future pain, suffering and emotional distress the accident caused the victim. The injury caused the man to suffer from vertigo, memory loss, and even seizures.
According to court documents, Holland America covered up similar sliding door accidents across multiple ships in its fleet in 34 separate occasions within three years. In two of the injuries, passengers broke their hips and in one, a passenger suffered a back injury.
Holland America is currently in the process of appealing the verdict, calling the sum excessive. While the amount awarded is quite large, the injured man will likely suffer from his brain injuries for the rest of his life which could affect his ability to work and future earnings.
Contact an Experienced Cruise Ship Accident Attorney Today
Due to the complex nature of maritime law, an experienced South Florida Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer is crucial when seeking damages for an accident. At the Law Office of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A., we have a collective 80 years of fighting cases against all the major cruise line companies. Our law firm represents cruise ship passengers and crew members who are seriously injured in every type of incident including, missing persons, slip and fall and victims of a crime aboard a ship. All our cases are conducted on a contingent fee so there are no attorney’s fees unless we recover money on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.